Confession time. In my 20s, I rarely removed my makeup at night. I just slept in it, and washed my face in the shower the next morning. When removal did happen, it was with a Johnson’s makeup remover wipe, followed by moisturiser, should the mood take me. So yeah, not a skincare routine as such. What can I say?! C’est la vie. If your routine is similar, hey, no judgement here friends.
At some point I noticed that my face had started to look different. Just sort of less good. I decided it was my foundation, so went on a little makeup mission, discovered tinted moisturiser, problem solved I thought. But then the tinted moisturiser started to look less good also. And I looked at my skin – dull, tight – and had a little lightbulb moment.
Fast forward a few years, and I’ve learnt some stuff about skincare. Sharing is caring! So here are my top tips:
- Find out your skin type. Discovering that my skin was dehydrated, not dry, was a game changer. If you’re unsure, visit Clarins.
- Avoid foam. As a general rule, if it’s foaming it has sulfates it in, which aren’t ace for the face.
- If in doubt, go French. You’re in the wrong aisle in Boots, you need to move up one. Vichy, La Roche-Posay, Nuxe. That aisle. Perfect. Now wait for 3 for 2.
- You need a liquid exfoliant, not a physical one. These contains acids which remove dead skin cells. Ditch the scrubs.
Let’s talk skincare heroes!
You get cleansing lotions, oils, but Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, £22 for 125ml, is my favourite. The beauty of a balm is that if you rub it into your face, and remove it with a hot flannel, it doesn’t run down your elbows and drip onto your pjs. If I’m wearing heavy eye make up, I do the double – Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes & Lips, £17, then the balm, both excellent.
Lots of brands make great liquid exfoliants, but don’t call them that, which can make them tricky to spot. Clarins Gentle Exfoliator Brightening Toner, £26, is one, but the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads, £22 for 60 pads, are my fave – little pre-soaked discs that you swipe over your face, job done. I use them a couple of times a week, more often if I have blemishes.
La Roche-Posay Redermic R Eyes, £24.50 for 15ml, is light enough that it doesn’t migrate overnight and give you puffy morning eyes, while providing moisture.
I love serum, and my head is easily turned in this department, but the one that I come to back to time again is the Vichy Aqualia Thermal Dynamic Hydration Serum, £22.50 for 30ml. Light and deceptively hydrating, you only need one pump.
In the summer I use a traditional night cream such as Super Facialist by Una Brennan Retinol+ Anti-Ageing Night Cream, £19.99 for 50ml. When the temperature drops and the humidity vanishes, I prefer an oil. Sanctuary Spa Therapist Secret Facial Oil, £17.50 for 30ml, is tried and tested, but I’m a recent convert to the cult Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Usage Dry Oil, £28 for 100ml. This lovely oil is so light that you can avoid sticking to your pillow, but still wake with a baby soft face. One note of caution on the scent: it strong. I love it, but The Husband describes it as ‘old lady lotion’.
And there we have it, same thing morning and night. Most of the time. I do have the occasional lapse and sleep in my makeup, on account of another French import, le vin rouge, but we can’t be good all the time.